When a kids is ready for start tournament ?

Sure he does. Pro Tour likes to grab any video that he thinks can make his point. Comparing Murray to the typical USTA U10 moonballer is beyond silly.
comparing a Lazy 10 year old Murray to a USTA 10 year old is not silly, posting a youtube of murray NOW like you have to prove your point is silly
 
There would be no point of defaulting her from the match because she didn't follow your plan.

That's the whole point of playing matches so that she will learn herself and that she will figure out what works for her.

As for the pushers and the moonballers, they are not quite so easy to beat as parents would like to think. In fact at the early ages, I would say the "hitters" lose most of the time to the moonballers.

It's good for your daughter to play all different kinds of styles and figure out how to beat them.

Also figure out how to impose her game on the other player instead of vice versa. It's a tough lesson but she will learn.

I suspect this isn't the last time she makes this mistake. This is all part of the process if you are going to let her play tournaments.
second best post in thread
 
Hm... interesting. 5-year old playing matches against 9-yo kids in organized setting with Ajax scout observing. Why is he playing matches and not drilling? Does he have the perfect technique that he will use in 15 years in Barcelona? Is he adjusting to keep up with these bigger boys? And why are they playing matches? They are only 9 after all and they need to drill until 14 too. I think Dutch queen should call the club and stop this madness.
apparently he does,:confused:

Uhmmmmmm third best post in thread :)

yes they put 5 year olds up against 9 year olds, but that is ok they are in Europe and it is allowed, if we do it here in the US we are monsters :oops:
 

BSPE84

Semi-Pro
Why does it have to be all or nothing? Nothing precludes a young kid from honing his technique for as long as it takes and play points competitively in a practice/academy environment. The coach or parent can observe and then decide if tournament play is appropriate. Gently introduce the kid, see how he reacts, then re-evaluate. Obviously they are all built and programmed differently, so this talk about age cut off do this do that seems silly in my view :confused:.
 
when Someone Witness Over 50 Sets Of Competitive U10 Using Green Then I Am All Ears Untill THEN Most Of You Have Not< When You Do Please Post Your Observation.
 

klu375

Semi-Pro
Never mind, you are just wasting my time being a clown. The entire article, posted by Pro Tour, was that in the successful Dutch system they train 10 times more with 10 times less actual matches than American kids. The entire article states about 20 times that the best kids drill and drill and drill and drill....and only compete after they have drilled for years.

So you pick out a practice match where scouts are looking for the best kids, a setting where kids would extend maximum effort and show their best technique to attract a scout, not a parent in sight......and try to compare it to a USTA U10 moonball fest using awful technique for a plastic trophy with pop pop and nana cheering after every point.

Yawn, you bore me like all trolls.
Yes, I am the mother of all trolls!
I did not pick out practice match that involved 5yo- NYT journalist did and this contradicts his other statements. Why there is "no parent in sight" when the boy's dad is a team coach? But I can accept that Dutch parents are relatively laid-back.
Your soccer example is not the best as junior Dutch soccer players probably play a lot of practice matches. Their style of play is based on quick passing, proper positioning and involves more teamwork. Brazilians drill individual skills, British would stress shooting at the goal with feet and heads (their hallmark) but I do not see how you can practice "Total football" without live play.
Now I will make you happy and agree that you can win U10 tennis tournament with awful technique. But this does not mean that nobody should play U10 tournaments.
At the academy here I see 10yo playing points and TBs every day, practice matches or tournaments most weekends. Technique is drilled with hand-feeds, playing against a coach and corrections during point play. Everyone does the same routine with pullouts to deal with specific technical issues. During point plays they almost never moonball and all 10yo girls attack the net and do BH slice. Almost all coaches are foreign born. I do not think the place is inferior to any Russian or French academy - just not enough kids with talent and desire to play whose parents have the ability to drive them and pay.
 
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ClarkC

Hall of Fame
ok so working on footwork with lazy technique is ok, tell that to TCF :) the kid was lazy, he was known to be lazy at sanches, everyone who knew him said the same thing, he even said it himself in the video, it is apparent in the video from his living conditions to the way he moves to his strokes. he was LAZY and did not put in alot of effort in alot of things, it is his personality
Well, I agree that I would not trust him with my laundry. :)
 

hound 109

Semi-Pro
What are the examples in baseball of kids doing all the technique right in practice, and then figuring out that if they ignore their coach and start doing the "wrong" things in a baseball game that it will help them win, so they do the wrong thing and win and conclude that they know better than the coach? This is the phenomenon we are discussing in tennis. What are the specific examples of this in baseball?
The examples I gave regarding baseball & basketball related to kids feeling similar types of pressure during competition at a young age. I gave specific examples. What i'm basically saying is competing & feeling pressure (along with practicing strokes, swings, throws, etc....) is better than just drilling & practicing (& never competing) from age 9-12.

Some here are saying if the game isn't played as an adult would play then it's not worth playing or counterproductive....i disagree.

I'm not sure what you are discussing in the quote above. Are you arguing for more coaching in tennis? or less in baseball?
 

BMC9670

Hall of Fame
Are you arguing for more coaching in tennis? or less in baseball?
The coaching debate plays into the appropriate age to start competition as well. Kids in ALL other sports learn in competitive environments with coaching. Personally, I think it should be allowed up to 12U in tennis. Not to coach kids to win at any cost, but for the very reasons we are discussing - reminding them of keeping good technique, keeping them hitting out, etc. Now, I know the counter arguments and it's been discussed at length, but I think some "on the job" training would helps kids learn faster, not make them reliant on a coach. Yes, there will be overzealous parents/coaches, as there are in all sports, but at 8, 9, 10, kids need to "learn" and not be expected to "figure it out" on their own.
 

hound 109

Semi-Pro
You obviously did not read the thread. ClarkC and others explained how in tennis you win MORE as a kid when you use bad technique, dinking and moonballing. Balls fly out when little kids hit away.

Not with spin.

Try bad technique in golf, you lose.

Define bad technique. Shorter consistent players beat long knockers all the time.

Try bad technique in kids basketball, the shot

Is "the shot" the only thing you watch in basketball?

Is the groundstroke (& pronated serve) the only thing you teach in tennis?


is missed, you sit.

Try winning with bad technique in bitty baseball, your throw is off the mark, you sit.

Tennis is UNIQUE. Not only no coaching but a little kid is better off dinking at first to win. Its the ONLY sport where a kid wins MORE with BAD technique when they are starting out. So bad technique is rewarded early in tennis, in every other sport bad technique causes loses from day 1.

And the hardest thing to do is to correct bad technique that was used to win in a tournament.

If a kid is playing in LOTS of tournaments, then winning one is no big deal. Using new strokes & strategy is no big deal. Tournaments are no big deal. (& dealing with moonballers & hookers becomes no big deal).

Thats why we are saying the countries that delay tournaments in TENNIS or stress winning using technique are the ones that produce better overall players.
Ever see the you tube of the 11 or 12 year old defensive lobber from Spain. Dude was in over his head....playing a kid a head taller & probably a year or two older & was running side to side retrieving balls trying to get from defense to neutral as best he could. Lobbing, moonballing....Crazy strokes & crazy footwork just to survive. He got beat but was fighting every point. The kid's doing alright now.

I hear you TCF...& i agree that with some kids you are probably right. (especially talented fragile kids).

But others are born to compete....& those types also are able to learn new things from good coaches 10 times as quickly as others. If i gave you my kid, you would make some needed corrections & he'd be hitting certain shots YOUR way within two weeks.....in sectionals.
 

hound 109

Semi-Pro
Where are you getting this stuff from? Are you talking about recreational sports? Any serious sport academy in the US considers teaching proper technique to young children a priority. But they also make young kids regularly play practice matches and tournaments. Majority of coaches in these academies (tennis, soccer) are foreign born and trained by the way. The poor souls that play sanctioned tournaments every weekend are probably training on their own and use tournaments as a matchplay opportunity.
Good post. & most folks can't afford $600-$1200 a month for "serious sports academies". But even lower level places often have good coaches that stress technique & fitness. (Some stress it ALOT.)

& you're right some of us "poor souls" might use 1 (or 2) sanctioned tournament a month to get some matchplay. (really works well to play "up" & compete against bigger kids). The $30 tournament fee is much less than 2-3 drills/matches at "an academy".
 
apparently he does,:confused:

Uhmmmmmm third best post in thread :)

yes they put 5 year olds up against 9 year olds, but that is ok they are in Europe and it is allowed, if we do it here in the US we are monsters :oops:
Pro Tour, whats in your coffee today, you are saying posts are great that go against what you posted yourself. The Ajax article mentions intense soccer practice matches for scouts to pick the best kids, the exact opposite goal of a USTA U10 moonball tournament.

Then the article you posted says those kids are then drilled for years before ever being allowed to play any matches outside of a practice setting.

You are now disagreeing with yourself.
 

hound 109

Semi-Pro
It is true about the 10 year old kids moon balling though in the USA. Most of my 10 year old sons friends who take lessons still moon ball. My son has started calling them pushers too. lol. I called a friend of mine a pusher one time and my son started using it too. :)

What I do now with my son is every 2 or 3 balls I will give him a "pusher" ball. of various varieties and depth. And expect him to hit it with a full swing and proper mechanics and proper footwork. If its a short dink to the middle of the court I have told him to hit the winner. either side. He is still getting the hang of playing against the pusher game... as I am actually (I discovered) a pretty good pusher! But I already see him improving technically against this type of play. The patterns and strokes needed to deal with it he is slowly getting comfortable with now. I think it will help him mentally long term to learn how to counter act this type of play.
This is exactly the point. (& the proper thing to do)

I saw a Landsdorp tennis channel tip where he was hitting "moon balls" or lobs or whatever to some kid who was learning to take balls on the rise....to not back up. What a great way to improve taking the ball on the rise & eventually marginalize a moonballer. So...I took my kid out & I hit several buckets a day for a couple of weeks until he was comfortable taking ALL (every damn one) lob/moonball (whatever) on the rise & thru the strike zone.

My kid doesn't hit it hard enough to "hit winners" off these shots, but he normally takes enough time away that he's able to win the point on the next shot or two. A kid who takes it on the rise, will yawn when they see a moonballer & will take delight in watching them run all over the court because of the time he's taken away from them.

Bottom line....thank the moon baller. Use it as a training tool. But.....if you're worried about a 9 or 10 y/o winning every match, then this of course won't work. But if you have them NOT back up (ever) against the moonballer and take EVERY moonball on the rise then after a month or two (took my kid maybe two tournaments) they begin win more moonball points then they lose. But more importantly, they are MUCH better at taking balls on the rise.

How many hundreds of dollars for lessons or how many hours of training would one blow for a 9-10 y/o to learn (to ALWAYS) hit these kind of balls on the rise?

Heck...instead watch 10 minutes of Landsdorp, hit a couple of buckets of lobs a day for two weeks to your 9 y/o kid & have them play a couple of 10s or low level 12s tournaments & your kid will be hitting it on the rise like Davydenko. & to those who say it's "not easy" to learn how to handle moonballers....so what?

Added benefit.....recreational adults like to hit with 10 & 11 y/o kids who take it on the rise properly....they keep the damn point going instead of (so many 9 & 10 y/o kids who are) always backing up to the fence & then blasting wild (but technically correct) forehands all over the place.

So seek out the moonballers & pushers....don't run away....don't whine....they are your friend. (But if one is a moonball whiner then the kid will be a moonball whiner & the adult is probably more concerned about the 9 y/o winning....or "beating" the moonballer than on his kid actually improving.)

Just my ignorant opinion.

:)
 
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I think we completely sidetracked the thread with the moonball stuff. We all know that every tennis player needs to learn to deal with it.

The actual point of the debate is about the American culture of tennis juniors that rewards the kids that win, no matter how. They use bunt strokes, they use pan cake serves, they float balls back like grandmas.

And the end result is by adulthood countries that are way smaller than the US have way more talented tennis players than we do.

We have too many posters that pick out extreme examples. One say you should have seen Nadal running crazy as a kid playing defense with moonballs. Okay. Was he also pancake serving? When he got a perfect ball in his strike zone did he still barely pitty pat it back over the net? Every time?

There is little hope for American tennis because the vast majority of the tennis community either does not know or does not want to accept what we are doing dead wrong. The ongoing arrogance of a culture that has failed at player development and has failed at high performance for decades is baffling.

The same USTA organization that has been wrong over and over again....now every single idea they have with Quickstart is 100% correct, working brilliantly when seen by proponents. Green balls magically have changed all those U10s into glorious and valuable tennis matches.

Imagine that, balls that simply are from 15-25% less bouncy than regulation have changed the entire culture. Now the kids that get rewarded with trophies no matter how they hit the ball have all been transformed into players that think technique first. What a crock of garbage.

Sorry Pro Tour, just changing the balls to what they use overseas is not going to make even a bit of difference. You won't see any more American in the top 200 or playing D-1 tennis in 20 years then you do now. I think what you think you saw in those 50 sets of green balls is what you wanted to see.
 
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hound 109

Semi-Pro
Tennis we see it in a glaring way as bad technique is rewarded for little kids with early tournament wins. Baseball you may see it a little as only some parts of the game can bad technique be used by a little kid. Golf you see it not at all as every kid will only win with the best technique from day 1.

Basketball is another great example. A little kid can more easily shoot a ball underhand at first. Try that technique in a pick up game and you will be sitting and watching the 8 year olds that shoot it the right way. Hence, our hoops players can take no short cuts as kids and win.
imo....I think you're showing a lack of knowledge of any sport that isn't tennis or soccer. You know bad technique in tennis like the back of your hand. But bad technique in other sports drive those coaches just as batsh*t as bad technique in tennis drives you. :)

Bad technique is worked on in Baseball & Basketball just like tennis. LOTS of little things.....& worked on ALL the time.

& what's with the focus on shooting / scoring (winning?) in basketball? It's a tiny % of what a coach would work on with a group of 7-10 y/o.

(& fwiw, baseball has smaller diamonds & even t-balls. basketball has lower baskets....but probably a topic for another thread. ;))
 
imo....I think you're showing a lack of knowledge of any sport that isn't tennis or soccer. You know bad technique in tennis like the back of your hand. But bad technique in other sports drive those coaches just as batsh*t as bad technique in tennis drives you. :)

Bad technique is worked on in Baseball & Basketball just like tennis. LOTS of little things.....& worked on ALL the time.

& what's with the focus on shooting / scoring (winning?) in basketball? It's a tiny % of what a coach would work on with a group of 7-10 y/o.

(& fwiw, baseball has smaller diamonds & even t-balls. basketball has lower baskets....but probably a topic for another thread. ;))
My first love is hoops, played it, coached it. Forget the 7-10 year old bitty ball you have seen. Most of those players will never play past high school.

I am talking where the BEST kids come from, the playgrounds. My old stomping ground was North Philly. Hank Gathers, Bo Kimble, we had some monster players.

The playground was simple The little kids played until the big boys came. They then sat and watched....with exceptions. No lower hoops there.

The exceptions were the 8 year olds who did it right. The 8 year olds who shot correctly, who passed correctly, who got in front of their man by moving their feet. Those kids played. They were also corrected in game by the older guys.

It was natural selection. You didn't have proper technique, you sat, plain and simple. Thats how we did things back in the day. Maybe it is different today.

Baseball, played it for years. Watched nephews play it over the last 10 years. I don't see anything remotely close to what I have seen in U10s as far as technique so far from what should be done.

Tennis is unique from that standpoint. There is extreme bad form used by the majority of USTA kids.
 
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Soianka

Hall of Fame
This is exactly the point. (& the proper thing to do)

I saw a Landsdorp tennis channel tip where he was hitting "moon balls" or lobs or whatever to some kid who was learning to take balls on the rise....to not back up. What a great way to improve taking the ball on the rise & eventually marginalize a moonballer. So...I took my kid out & I hit several buckets a day for a couple of weeks until he was comfortable taking ALL (every damn one) lob/moonball (whatever) on the rise & thru the strike zone.

My kid doesn't hit it hard enough to "hit winners" off these shots, but he normally takes enough time away that he's able to win the point on the next shot or two. A kid who takes it on the rise, will yawn when they see a moonballer & will take delight in watching them run all over the court because of the time he's taken away from them.

Bottom line....thank the moon baller. Use it as a training tool. But.....if you're worried about a 9 or 10 y/o winning every match, then this of course won't work. But if you have them NOT back up (ever) against the moonballer and take EVERY moonball on the rise then after a month or two (took my kid maybe two tournaments) they begin win more moonball points then they lose. But more importantly, they are MUCH better at taking balls on the rise.

How many hundreds of dollars for lessons or how many hours of training would one blow for a 9-10 y/o to learn (to ALWAYS) hit these kind of balls on the rise?

Heck...instead watch 10 minutes of Landsdorp, hit a couple of buckets of lobs a day for two weeks to your 9 y/o kid & have them play a couple of 10s or low level 12s tournaments & your kid will be hitting it on the rise like Davydenko. & to those who say it's "not easy" to learn how to handle moonballers....so what?

Added benefit.....recreational adults like to hit with 10 & 11 y/o kids who take it on the rise properly....they keep the damn point going instead of (so many 9 & 10 y/o kids who are) always backing up to the fence & then blasting wild (but technically correct) forehands all over the place.

So seek out the moonballers & pushers....don't run away....don't whine....they are your friend. (But if one is a moonball whiner then the kid will be a moonball whiner & the adult is probably more concerned about the 9 y/o winning....or "beating" the moonballer than on his kid actually improving.)

Just my ignorant opinion.

:)

You are absolutely right. That is the way to handle moonballs and it is a wonderful teaching lesson for little kids to learn ..... take those balls early before they go way up over your head.

It also translates to in general timing the ball better and taking the ball earlier.

It really is a wondeful lesson for juniors to lose to someone who they think they can and should out hit but they still lose...then they have to figure out how to win and start to play smarter.
 
I think we completely sidetracked the thread with the moonball stuff. We all know that every tennis player needs to learn to deal with it.

The actual point of the debate is about the American culture of tennis juniors that rewards the kids that win, no matter how. They use bunt strokes, they use pan cake serves, they float balls back like grandmas.

And the end result is by adulthood countries that are way smaller than the US have way more talented tennis players than we do.

We have too many posters that pick out extreme examples. One say you should have seen Nadal running crazy as a kid playing defense with moonballs. Okay. Was he also pancake serving? When he got a perfect ball in his strike zone did he still barely pitty pat it back over the net? Every time?

There is little hope for American tennis because the vast majority of the tennis community either does not know or does not want to accept what we are doing dead wrong. The ongoing arrogance of a culture that has failed at player development and has failed at high performance for decades is baffling.

The same USTA organization that has been wrong over and over again....now every single idea they have with Quickstart is 100% correct, working brilliantly when seen by proponents. Green balls magically have changed all those U10s into glorious and valuable tennis matches.

Imagine that, balls that simply are from 15-25% less bouncy than regulation have changed the entire culture. Now the kids that get rewarded with trophies no matter how they hit the ball have all been transformed into players that think technique first. What a crock of garbage.

Sorry Pro Tour, just changing the balls to what they use overseas is not going to make even a bit of difference. You won't see any more American in the top 200 or playing D-1 tennis in 20 years then you do now. I think what you think you saw in those 50 sets of green balls is what you wanted to see.
what part of this did you not understand:confused:

when you do get back to us
when Someone Witness Over 50 Sets Of Competitive U10 Using Green Then I Am All Ears Untill THEN Most Of You Have Not< When You Do Please Post Your Observation.
I got you to concede that playing tournaments at an early age does have success stories which ties into using green balls as well, I guarantee you that playing green matches like they do and have done in europe all along will produce success stories here as well, no matter the culture. like I said when you see these matches you will know what I am talking about, so far you have not, all we know is that you wants kids to start playing tournaments at 13?!?!? not even regulation at 12 or 11?!?!?!
8-9 year olds playing green tournaments for a year is not that bad.......... is it?

No I suppose it isn't. If some kids need tournaments to keep them interested in tennis, so be it.

But the other approach works too. Many a great player went years before ever playing an organized tournament.

Both approaches have their success stories.
 
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BMC9670

Hall of Fame
OK, great debate. But, so many threads have really ended up in the same place and it seems most, if not every angle has been covered. I suggest we move this huge discussion to it's next phase, which seems to me is what kids are doing today, here and now. Pro Tour, I would love to hear more about, and possibly see video of, green ball play (as we don't have it here yet and your section could be a good test market). TCF, keep us informed of developments as your kids transition into tournament play. The rest of us, let's bring in ideas about what is happening with our kids in the real world today - whats working, whats not, what they are doing through the spring and summer. In short, I think the philosophical debate on QS, appropriate ages, tournament play, training methods, etc is going in circles and has run it's course for now. Let's bring ideas to the table to help our kids and students improve right now, instead of projecting what will happen years from now.

Whaddayasay?
 

ga tennis

Hall of Fame
OK, great debate. But, so many threads have really ended up in the same place and it seems most, if not every angle has been covered. I suggest we move this huge discussion to it's next phase, which seems to me is what kids are doing today, here and now. Pro Tour, I would love to hear more about, and possibly see video of, green ball play (as we don't have it here yet and your section could be a good test market). TCF, keep us informed of developments as your kids transition into tournament play. The rest of us, let's bring in ideas about what is happening with our kids in the real world today - whats working, whats not, what they are doing through the spring and summer. In short, I think the philosophical debate on QS, appropriate ages, tournament play, training methods, etc is going in circles and has run it's course for now. Let's bring ideas to the table to help our kids and students improve right now, instead of projecting what will happen years from now.

Whaddayasay?
Great post.My little girl isn't playing many tournaments this year.I think her next tournament will be in May at the Little Mo.This yea she has been doing alot of private lessons as well as drills at the academy.She is 9 and will have plenty of time for tournaments as she gets older.Last year we played too many tournaments.I want her to really focus on technique this year.
 
OK, great debate. But, so many threads have really ended up in the same place and it seems most, if not every angle has been covered. I suggest we move this huge discussion to it's next phase, which seems to me is what kids are doing today, here and now. Pro Tour, I would love to hear more about, and possibly see video of, green ball play (as we don't have it here yet and your section could be a good test market). TCF, keep us informed of developments as your kids transition into tournament play. The rest of us, let's bring in ideas about what is happening with our kids in the real world today - whats working, whats not, what they are doing through the spring and summer. In short, I think the philosophical debate on QS, appropriate ages, tournament play, training methods, etc is going in circles and has run it's course for now. Let's bring ideas to the table to help our kids and students improve right now, instead of projecting what will happen years from now.

Whaddayasay?
you are right we have debated this to death i will take videos and try my best to post developments using green.
 

seminoleG

Semi-Pro
Great post.My little girl isn't playing many tournaments this year.I think her next tournament will be in May at the Little Mo.This yea she has been doing alot of private lessons as well as drills at the academy.She is 9 and will have plenty of time for tournaments as she gets older.Last year we played too many tournaments.I want her to really focus on technique this year.
Good Points.

We are too leaving USTA Tournament play. I did send another email to USTA Florida asking for them to: (Don't forget we are members and consumers)
-consider seeding 10s against 10s or lowest ranked 12s for those parents of 8-10s, that want to play Tournaments
-subsidze entry fees for those 10s forced to play 12s.
-refund/extend membership for the years we are not going to play (2)

Doubtfull they'll even read it, but I'm at peace.

We may return to USTA tourney play in 18 months (Doubt it)

I Purchased a bucket of Greenballs [Pro Tour :)] we have been using on the Wall, and for drills. Good mix and variety

I doubt we will play Green Ball Tournaments as several kids that train with us from Europe played it (2+ years) and are now on Yellow.
Her Strokes/Techniques are as good and they have told me she should not do it. They felt Green Ball promotes "LAZY FEET" in more developed kids. Good strokes with Lazy Feet was what they said. I did see there kids had amazing strokes for their age, but foot work was not good.

Soccer - boy I was not sold on continuing to play, but the foot work and movement is so obvious. We will continue to play as the team aspect is priceless and she loves it. Some of the moves like the foot work to Volley are no different than the step over in Soccer. So as long as she wants to do it I'm a buyer. $$$$ lowers my cost for tennis as she does not do much fitness with academy.

Team Tennis - Think we'll drop this also. Wasn't very competitive but may be her only outlet for competition. Don't know about this one.....

Match Play - Hey most of the folks from Europe do this over here. I am a buyer on this, and have ~8-10 parents numbers for getting together.

Summer- we will spend as much time in other things as we do Tennis. ~ 3 weeks of Tennis Camps, 3 weeks of Art/Dane/Music Camp, and 2 weeks of Soccer Camp.

Fall/Spring - Her academy has Saturday sessions that I would do every 3 weeks or so. I may do more of these next year.
 
OK, great debate. But, so many threads have really ended up in the same place and it seems most, if not every angle has been covered. I suggest we move this huge discussion to it's next phase, which seems to me is what kids are doing today, here and now. Pro Tour, I would love to hear more about, and possibly see video of, green ball play (as we don't have it here yet and your section could be a good test market). TCF, keep us informed of developments as your kids transition into tournament play. The rest of us, let's bring in ideas about what is happening with our kids in the real world today - whats working, whats not, what they are doing through the spring and summer. In short, I think the philosophical debate on QS, appropriate ages, tournament play, training methods, etc is going in circles and has run it's course for now. Let's bring ideas to the table to help our kids and students improve right now, instead of projecting what will happen years from now.

Whaddayasay?
I think I did just that. In my experience the kids who start tournaments early resort to bad technique and its very hard to fix. In many cases it never gets fixed. Thus kids who could have been much better players end up dead ending.

So the ideas I brought to the table are to keep kids out of structured tournaments until about age 12. (plus or minus a year or two, kids mature at a variety of ages). Use the ages from 8-12 to have lots of drills, speed training, cross training, practice matches, put them under pressure in a practice setting with the stipulation that they ALWAYS maintain technique. Design situations to stir their competitive juices without USTA U10s. Let them play soccer if they need structured competition. Use regulation balls in practice to maximize reaction times during the sensitive ages of 6-10.

Those are my ideas, thats what I will do with my students. Posters like Gatennis and seminoleG have joined me in moving towards this model.

So I think this discussion has been a huge success. I hope there are 100 other lurking parents reading this stuff who pull out of USTA U10s.
 
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BMC9670

Hall of Fame
Great post.My little girl isn't playing many tournaments this year.I think her next tournament will be in May at the Little Mo.This yea she has been doing alot of private lessons as well as drills at the academy.She is 9 and will have plenty of time for tournaments as she gets older.Last year we played too many tournaments.I want her to really focus on technique this year.
Let us know what kinds of things you are doing in training - I'm doing pretty much that same with my 9 YO son and would love some new ideas.

For this summer and spring, I will continue to teach/drill/hit with him and he will play on our clubs summer team. The competition is not that great, but they have 4 practices a week and one match, so it's mostly practices. I volunteer as a ball feeder and make sure he isn't falling into bad habits as most kids on the team are summer only rec players. He also wants to play Little Mo, mainly for the T-shirt:). I'm good with it as it's his age category and last year the competition was good. Otherwise, we will not play many tournaments. I will try some green ball if they offer it. I also set up practice matches with other 9-10 YOs we know that are around his level.

I'll start another thread for specific training/drill ideas - I think there is a lot we can learn and incorporate from each other in general.
 
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seminoleG

Semi-Pro
I think I did just that. In my experience the kids who start tournaments early resort to bad technique and its very hard to fix. In many cases it never gets fixed. Thus kids who could have been much better players end up dead ending.

So the ideas I brought to the table are to keep kids out of structured tournaments until at least age 12. Use the ages from 8-12 to have lots of drills, speed training, cross training, practice matches, put them under pressure in a practice setting with the stipulation that they ALWAYS maintain technique. Design situations to stir their competitive juices without USTA U10s. Use regulation balls in practice to maximize reaction times during the sensitive ages of 6-10.

Those are my ideas, thats what I will do with my students. Posters like Gatennis and seminoleG have joined me in moving towardss this model.

So I think this discussion has been a huge success. I hope there are 100 other lurking parents reading this stuff who pull out of USTA U10s.
To close, facts speak and as you look at Rosters of Pro's and NCAA players I ask (retorical) is the USTA Junior structure even a Good process?
 
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BMC9670

Hall of Fame
Our Coach has a few nice drills : Winner choses fitness for losers (Frogs, Hops, Push ups, sprints etc...)
-Tie-Break to 21. One player serves one returns, Point every serve (no second)
3 kids on each side of court Play to 5
-Points one player can return into whole court, other player only half
-Points balls land short of service line out
-Offense/Defense Duece : each player fed short ball ~service line, until somone wins. Five rounds to win Match. I love watching the kids run to baseline and play defense, only to miss easy shortball. Great fitness drill.
Nice! I just started another thread for specifics like this. Can you repost there?
 

BMC9670

Hall of Fame
I think I did just that. In my experience the kids who start tournaments early resort to bad technique and its very hard to fix. In many cases it never gets fixed. Thus kids who could have been much better players end up dead ending.

So the ideas I brought to the table are to keep kids out of structured tournaments until about age 12. (plus or minus a year or two, kids mature at a variety of ages). Use the ages from 8-12 to have lots of drills, speed training, cross training, practice matches, put them under pressure in a practice setting with the stipulation that they ALWAYS maintain technique. Design situations to stir their competitive juices without USTA U10s. Let them play soccer if they need structured competition. Use regulation balls in practice to maximize reaction times during the sensitive ages of 6-10.

Those are my ideas, thats what I will do with my students. Posters like Gatennis and seminoleG have joined me in moving towards this model.

So I think this discussion has been a huge success. I hope there are 100 other lurking parents reading this stuff who pull out of USTA U10s.
I think it's been a great debate as well. I've started another thread to move to specifics in training as we've covered the overall philosophical end of the discussion. Would love to hear what kinds of specific drill, etc you do with your kids.
 
I Purchased a bucket of Greenballs [Pro Tour :)] we have been using on the Wall, and for drills.
not sure I would have advise "Bucket", because you might have purchased the "QS" "Bucket" which i do not fancy, because they tend to be much softer than Dunlop stage 1 green dot and fluff up easy. there are also babolat green dot "bucket" which are very nice.
 

DibbyDee

New User
I am a firm believer in keeping them out of tournaments until they are older. What other sports do parents expect an 8 year old without a coach to stick with proper technique, while they keep score, while they try to remember strategy, while they probably face a moonballer whose parents and extended family are cheering after every point?

Tennis is unique and requires a longer incubation period before structured competition. Let them play soccer and gradually phase in the structured tennis when they are older.

I do agree with you that tennis should not be about tournaments too young. It can be demoralising.

I started my daughter when she was 7 years old and I was shocked parents started their children from 2 years of age. Some kids were doing like 15 tournaments a year age 7/8! I felt way behind eek! My DD has just turned 8 and been asked to do extra days because she’s quite natural unlike me! But she loves it because her coach makes it fun and when she started she was playing fun games and it’s been progressive and it took a good year till she was offered more days. She’s now in same group as kids who have been playing since they were 3 so shows how far a kid can get just through enjoyment. I like this style. The funniest thing is my little boy age 6 always helps pick up the balls and everytime I’ve asked if he’d like to do tennis he said no. I’ve never pushed the issue. But one day out of the blue he asked me because he watched how much fun his sister was having. In his 3rd lesson he was rallying 20 bless him and he has been obsessed since. This is a kid that is so terribly shy and watching his sister play. I think because the coach makes it fun my children love tennis and as brother and sister they can hit together which is sweet. I couldn’t ask for more than this. If I put him in a tournament now he probably wouldn’t play again.
 
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